Descriptive Gazetteer Entry for SCARBOROUGH

SCARBOROUGH, a town, a township, a parish, a sub-district, and a district, in N. R. Yorkshire. The town stands on the coast, and on the North eastern railway system, 42¾ miles N E of York. It takes its name from the words Scar and Burg, signifying a "rock" and "a castle; " and it was known to the Saxons as Skarta-borgar and Scearburgh. It possibly dates earlier than the Saxon times; but it does not figure in history till1066. It was then destroyed by Harold Harfager. Itrose slowly into new life; passed into the possession of William le Gros; acquired a castle under him, about 1136; and seems, about the same time, to have been fortified by walls and a moat. Its castle was given up to Henry II., and rebuilt by him as a royal fortress. Edward II. visited it in 1273. Piers Gaveston, the favourite of Edward II., took refuge in it, in 1312, from theinsurgent barons; and the Earl of Lancaster besieged it, took Gaveston, and beheaded him. Bruce attacked and burnt it in 1318. Richard III. visited it in 1485, and rebuilt its walls. Aske, the leader of the Pilgrimage of Grace, attacked it in 1536. Lord Stafford, co-operatingwith Wyatt's rebellion, surprised it in 1553; and the Earl of Westmoreland, three days afterwards, retook it. The parliamentarians took it in 1645, after a twelve-months siege; and again in 1648, after a three-months'siege. It numbers among its natives Roger and Robertde Scardeburgh of the 13th century, Wittie the physician of the 17th century, Travis the surgeon of the 18th century, and Hinderwell the local topographer who died in 1825; it had also as a resident, perhaps as a native, thebrave seaman Lawson who was killed in 1665; and itgives the title of Earl to the family of Lumley. The town stands on a rocky acclivity, rising from thesmooth beach of a beautiful bay, and terminating in finecliffs. Its contour somewhat resembles that of an amphitheatre; and its outskirts and environs are diversified and beautiful. The older parts consist chiefly of narrowstreets; yet even they contribute much to its picturesque-ness. The newer parts are well built, of light colouredsandstone; and many of them are disposed in terracesalong the cliffs, and command noble views. The South Cliff is crowned with terraces, walls, a spa saloon, a musichall, and other interesting features; and is a very favourite resort. The cliff-bridge spans a chasm between the cliffs, or between the town and the spa; was erected in 1826, at a cost of £9,000; underwent improvements and embellishments at several periods; is 414 feet long, 13½ feet wide, and 75 feet high; and forms a delightfulpromenade. The museum near the cliff-bridge was built in 1828, at a cost of about £1, 300; is a rotunda in the Roman Doric style; and contains, besides the kinds ofantiquities in most museums, an interesting collection of marine objects. The spa saloon was built in 1839, re-modelled in 1847, and largely altered in 1858. The music hall was built in the last of these years, after designs by Sir Joseph Paxton; and is spacious and elegant. The rock gardens, on the North Cliff, were opened in 1860; passed to a new proprietorship, and into new arrangements, in 1862; and include reading-rooms, a music hall, and other attractions. The castle crowns a promontory about 300 feet high; is accessible only from the W side; was dismantled after the last capture of it by the parliamentarians; was temporarily repaired in 1745; acquired a new barrack and a new battery in 1746: is now represented chiefly by stately ruins of its Normankeep, 54 feet broad on each of its four sides, and originally not less than 100 feet high, but now not more than80; and commands very extensive views. The town hall is used in Sept. for the meetings of the Horticultural society. The market-hall was built in 1853, at a cost of £16,000; measures 151 feet by 111; and is in the Tuscan style. The assembly rooms, the theatre, and the odd fellows' hall also are buildings of note. Many of the hotels are very handsome edifices: and a vast onein the Italian style, with a sea-frontage of 222 feet, and containing a coffee-room for about 150 persons, a dining-room for about 300, and about 300 bedrooms, was completed in 1867, at a cost of above £100,000. St. Mary's church stands on a prominent site, over-hanging the sea; was originally the church of an alien Cistertian priory founded in 1320, a cell to Citeaux abbey; was at one time much larger and more imposing thannow; suffered severely from the siege of 1644; had formerly three towers, all now mostly extinct, and one of them represented by a central tower of 1669; exhibitsportions of early English, decorated, and perpendiculararchitecture; and was restored in 1848-50, at a cost of £7,000. Christ Church was built in 1828, at a cost of £8,000; and is in the pointed style, with a pinnacled tower 116 feet high. St. Thomas' church was built in 1840, and was recently altered and enlarged. St. Mar-tin's church was built in 1862, at a cost of about £8,000; is in the transition Norman style; has a tower with gable-roof, 108 feet high; and contains a fine wall-painting, completed in 1865. The Bar Independent chapel is in the decorated English style. The South Cliff Independent chapel was built in 1865; and also is in the decorated English style, cruciform, with tower and spire 175feet high. The Westborough Baptist chapel was built in 1867, at a cost of about £4, 500, exclusive of the site; is in the geometric style; and has a tower and spire upwards of 100 feet high. The Wesleyan chapel, opposite the railway station, was built in 1862; and is in the Italian style. There are chapels also for Quakers, Primitive Methodists, U. Free Methodists, and Christian Brethren. The Roman Catholic chapel, in Castle-road, was opened, but not completed, in 1858. The old Roman Catholic chapel has been converted into a conventual institute, in connexionwith one at York. A Franciscan friary was founded in 1240, on a site in St. Sepulchre-street; and has left someremains. A Black friary was founded, in the time of Henry III., by Sir A. Say; a white friary, in the time of Edward II.; a St. Thomas' hospital, in the time of Henry II.; and a St. Nicholas' hospital, at some date not ascertained. The mechanics' institute was founded in 1830; is located in the Odd Fellows' hall, in Vernon-place; includes a large recent costly apartment for lectures and public meetings; and has reading-rooms and an excellentlibrary. The chief public schools are the grammar-school, the Lancasterian school, the Amicable Societies' school, two national schools, and a school of industry; and thechief benevolent institutions are the sea-bathing infirmary, the merchant seamen's hospital, Wilson's mariners'asylum, Trinity House hospital, a dispensary, and severalsuites of alms-houses. The amount of endowed charitiesis about £177. The town has a head post-office, ‡ a r. station with telegraph, two banking offices, and twelve chief hotels; is afamous watering-place, a head port, a seat of sessions and county courts, and a polling-place; and publishes fourweekly newspapers. The facilities and amenities for sea-bathing are of the highest order. There are also two spas, North and South, situated within a few yards of eachother close upon the shore. A weekly market is held on Thursday; and fairs, chiefly for cattle, on Holy Thursday, the Thursday after 15 July, and Old Martinmas day. The manufacture of jet ornaments, ship-building, iron-founding, and machine-making are carried on; and a fishing trade, particularly in herrings, is extensive. Greatimpulse to prosperity was given by the opening of the railway from York and Hull; and increased impulse wasanticipated from the Scarborough and Whitby railway, which was in an advanced state of progress in the earlypart of 1868. A project for a railway tunnel, on thepneumatic system, to connect the North and the Southsands, and to run underneath the very centre of the town, was formed about 1860, went into abeyance, and was resumed in the early part of 1865. A bridge across the Ramsdale valley was opened, with great processional demonstration, in 1865. The town became a head port in 1840. The harbour dries at low water; had formerly apier, made in 1252 by Henry III.; and has now two piersbegun in respectively 1763 and 1817, each 1, 200 feet long.and one 60 feet broad, 40 feet high, running out to a depth of from 3 to 18 feet water, and furnished with a tide-light58 feet high, and visible at the distance of 13 miles. Afloating dock also was opened in 1850. The vessels belonging to the port at the commencement of 1864 were109 small sailing-vessels, of aggregately 3, 796 tons; 117large sailing-vessels, of aggregately 32, 156 tons; and 1 steam-vessel, of 44 tons. The vessels which entered in 1863 were 1 British sailing-vessel, of 246 tons, from British colonies; 14 British sailing-vessels, of aggregately1, 438 tons, from foreign countries; 8 foreign sailing-vessels, of aggregately 795 tons, from foreign countries; and 354 sailing-vessels, of aggregately 18, 508 tons, coastwise. The chief imports are timber, grain, bones, coals, and slates; and the chief exports are hams and fish. The amount of customs in 1862 was £2, 897. The town was first chartered by Henry II.; has senttwo members to parliament from the time of Edward I.; is governed by a mayor, 6 aldermen, and 12 councillors; and, as a borough, both parliamentary and municipal, is conterminate with the parish. The borough jail has capacity for 9 male and 3 female prisoners. The police force, in 1864, comprised 11 men, at an annual cost of £720. The crimes committed in 1864 were 22; the persons apprehended, 24; the known depredators and suspected persons at large, 360; the houses of bad character, 65. Watersupply is furnished by recently-formed works, with a reservoir capable of containing one million gallons. The corporation revenue is about £2,000. Real property in 1860, £78, 157; of which £938 were in gas-works. Amount of property and income tax charged in 1863, £6, 139. Electors in 1833, 431; in 1863, 1, 233. Pop. in 1851, 12, 915; in 1861, 18, 377. Houses, 3, 940. The township comprises 1, 140 acres of land, and 426 of water. Real property, £72, 469. Pop. in 1851, 12, 158; in 1861, 17, 204. Houses, 3, 679. The parish contains also the township of Falsgrave, comprising 1,020 acres of land; and, as already stated, is conterminate with the borough; but is ecclesiastically divided into S., St. Mary, S., St. Thomas, and S., St. Martin. The living of St. Mary is a vicarage united with the chapelry of Christchurch, and the other two livings are p. curacies, in the diocese of York. Value of St. Mary-with-C., £300; * of St. T., £125; of St. Martin, not reported. Patron of St. Mary, Lord Hotham; of St. T., the Vicar of St. Mary; of St. Martin, Trustees.—The sub-district contains also Scalby parish and Harwood-Dale township. Acres, 20,078. Pop. in 1851, 14, 954; in 1861, 20, 467. Houses, 4, 369. The districtcomprehends also the sub-districts of Hutton-Bushell, Sherburn, and Filey; and comprises 81, 460 acres. Poor-rates in 1863, £14, 347. Pop. in 1851, 24, 615; in 1861, 30, 425. Houses, 6, 354. Marriages in 1863, 289; births, 1, 144, of which 120 were illegitimate; deaths, 719, of which 214 were at ages under 5 years, and 12 at ages above 85. Marriages in the ten years 1851-60, 2, 537; births, 9, 148; deaths, 5, 736. The places of worship, in 1851, were 21 of the Church of England, with 8, 241 sittings; 3 of Independents, with 1, 725 s.; 3 of Baptists, with 940 s.; 1 of Quakers, with 400 s.; 22 of Wesleyans, with 5, 338 s.; 13 of Primitive Methodists, with 2,081 s.; 2 of the Wesleyan Association, with 620 s.; 2 undefined, with 435 s.; and 1 of Roman Catholics, with 270 s. The schools were 28 public day schools, with 2,097 scholars; 51 private day schools, with 1, 261 s.; and 38 Sunday schools, with 2, 734 s. The workhouse is in the town.

(John Marius Wilson, Imperial Gazetteer of England and Wales (1870-72))

Linked entities:
Feature Description: "a town, a township, a parish, a sub-district, and a district"   (ADL Feature Type: "cities")
Administrative units: Scarborough CP/AP       Scarborough SubD       Scarborough PLU/RegD       Yorkshire AncC
Place names: SCARBOROUGH     |     SCEARBURGH     |     SKARTA BORGAR
Place: Scarborough

Go to the linked place page for a location map, and for access to other historical writing about the place. Pages for linked administrative units may contain historical statistics and information on boundaries.